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Sock Stashbuster Slouch Hat

I’m learning to embrace my quirks instead of trying to change them.

One of them, dear reader, is that I loooooove sock yarn and, well, any fingering-weight yarn.

Sock Stashbuster Slouchy Hat. #stashbusters #knitting

I have lots of it.  Fleece Artist, Knit Picks Palette, Stroll, and Felici, some Lorna’s Laces, Indigodragonfly, more Fleece Artist, some Madelinetosh… Oh, yeah.  I’m a junkie.  I like the good stuff.

I collect it with good intentions, I swear.  I try diligently to think up projects for the skein in my hand before I buy it.  I never leave the store with a skein that doesn’t have a future, a purpose.

But let’s be honest.  Sometimes I make those purposes up.  I would never admit it at the time, but having had certain skeins for a couple of years now, I can say that I *may* have been a teeny bit delusional.  But only maybe.  This is not a confession, and my husband is not allowed to use this post against me.

(Thankfully, I don’t believe he’s ever read a word I’ve written here, so haha!  I’m probably safe.)

ANYway, I love working with this weight of yarn.  My hands don’t get as tired.  I can make a whole project with just one or two skeins.  No large purchase decisions, no sweaters that started off well and then went off the rails… *ahem*

So here’s a hat.  It’s made of sock yarn.  Well, Knit Picks Palette, which isn’t technically for socks, but it’s close enough.  Especially since it can be replaced very easily by any old sock yarn out there.

Sock Stashbuster Slouch Hat pattern. #knitting #hats #sockyarn

Even a basket of those teeny, tiny, stupid, useless-looking leftovers from all the socks and gloves and hats I’ve made.

This hat, basically, is a stashbuster — an alternative, if you will, to making a Sock Yarn Blankie or a Beekeeper’s Quilt.  (Both of which I have been working on for years now.  My Blankie is about 4 feet wide and 1 foot long, and I have a small peach basket of hexipuffs.  I’ll return to you someday, my dears, I promise!)

It’s a nice, basic slouchy hat construction, so you can, if you want, make it from one new ball of yarn and forget the stashbusting altogether.  It’s up to you.

I made it to match my Scrunchy Ombre Arm Warmers pattern.  Why not, right?  I love the rainbowiness of them.

Scrunchy Ombre Arm Warmers by Amanda Schwabe

The pattern comes with instructions for working not only the basic structure, but also these rainbow stripes specifically and some tips for inventing your own stripes — tips on how to use up your stash, no matter the lengths of yarn you have left.

Now, some of you may have already found this pattern on Ravelry. It’s actually been there for a little while, and I’m only just now realizing I forgot to post about it! But I like it so much, I really wanted to share it. It’s actually been one of my most popular so far.

And now, without further ado, you may click this link to go to the pattern page:

[box type=”download” icon=”none”]Sock Stashbuster Slouch Hat[/box]



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Cozy Fall, Cozy Knitting

There’s a chill in the air around here, and the leaves have been turning rusty shades of sun-kissed orange and red, and a switch has flipped in my brain.  I’m knitting cables.

I picked up a gorgeous skein of Fleece Artist Blue-Faced Leicester Aran on sale at a local yarn shop in the summer.  It’s just brown… but oh! What a brown!  When I finally got around to winding it into a ball (by hand, off the back of a kitchen chair), I discovered that there are depths of warmth and coziness in the colours.  As it ran through my fingers, I fell in love with the texture.  It is soft and squishy and velvety, and I’m in love.

Here’s a little sneak peak of the pattern I’m working on, which, although it was inspired by this yarn, will probably be written for a worsted weight instead.  We’ll see.


I find that my favourite designs come out of experimentation, not premeditation.  Maybe that’s weird.  I will sometimes dream and imagine all the things I’d like to knit, but the reality of those dreams doesn’t always work out.  When I sit down and just get started, playing with the yarn as I go, I often end up with something very satisfying.  Cables can be especially lovely for that, since they can travel around at will as I go.  Hats make a great canvas, since they are small and easily re-knit if things go horribly wrong.

Have you ever sat down and played with a hat?  Here’s a glimpse of what I do:  Cast on something in multiples of ten, with appropriate-sized needles for your yarn, and just go for it.  Throw in some evenly spaced cables, then let them travel around when you get bored.  Maybe I’m strange, but I find that to be a fun and stimulating exercise.  The first hat I cast on ended up being too small, so, about halfway through, I ripped it all out.  The second hat was just right (since I had looked at my stitch count on hat number one before ripping it out to see how many more stitches I’d need).  I had some nice, mindless cables at the beginning, then I started to get tired of them.  Where can they go? I wondered.  So I sent them travelling to see what would happen.  I knew from previous experience knitting other peoples’ patterns how to move a cable around (most recently the Knotty gloves, of which I have made three pairs), and I knew I could always rip things out if I had to.

As I decided on one possibility, others were discarded or filed away in my brain for later.  Maybe this will turn into more than one design for a hat, or maybe there will be matching mittens.  Or leg warmers!  (My one love from the 80’s.)  Who knows?  The point is that knitting is fun, and I can go on adventures in my own kitchen, with Yo-Yo Ma playing in the background.  What a great life.